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Sick of it all

Who do I see about reporting people to the health service? I need to speak to someone about two friends of mine who are always, always ill.

I am not being unkind. If these guys had serious diseases, they would be the first to mention it. But there is always something the matter.

I have known Sam for 20 years, and it seems every time I meet him he is in recovery. His entire family is forever laid low with sniffles and fevers. ‘We’ve all had this flu,’ he tells me, and sniffs to prove it. Never a cold, mind, always ‘this flu’.

Pushpinder’s serial ailments are vaguer. ‘I feel dreadful today,’ is his customary greeting. ‘I could hardly drag myself into the office this morning.’ But funnily enough, Push always does drag himself in. Sam too. Good health might evade this sickly pair, but work avoidance is not their game.

So what is it then? Hypochondria? I have known people who suffer that way, and all they talk about is tests. If only their GP would run one more test. And why is it taking so long for their latest results to come through? As far as I know, Sam and Push never visit a doctor. But I am beginning to wish they would.

Flu three times this year? Sam, you need to get that checked out. And as for you Push, did it ever occur to you that there might be something seriously wrong?

Now it could be that I am the one experiencing hypochondria. You might call it hypochondria-by-proxy. But after two decades, I have come round to thinking that someone ought to run tests on Sam and Push. Only how do I persuade them to break the habit of a lifetime?

What I really need is a number to call. Like Crimestoppers, only medical. An anonymous call, a knock at the door, a couple of hefty medics in an unmarked vehicle. Sorted.

Call it nanny state if you like. But Sam and Push would thank me in the end.

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